Inside Politics

UPDATED - HRSDC officials face committee grilling over student loans data breach

Courtesy of an NDP-led initiative that triggered a rare outburst of nonpartisan cooperation over the committee table, Human Resources will devote today's meeting to the recent HRDC data breach, with testimony from the deputy minister, Ian Shugart, who will be flanked by associate and assistant deputy ministers, as well as Chief Information Officer Charles Nixon and, just for good measure, the department's senior general counsel, Mark McCombs.  

UPDATE: Well, this is a bit odd -- according to the revised notice posted just moments ago, both Nixon and McCombs have pulled out of today's meeting. 

UPDATE UNUPDATING THE PREVIOUS UPDATE: Aaaand now both witnesses have reappeared on the list. I'll still let you know what, if anything, I hear back from the department and/or minister's office on the temporary vanishing. 

Back in the Chamber, meanwhile, the House of Commons will spend the day debating a Liberal opposition day motion calling for the creation of a special committee to look into the "critical issue" of missing and murdered aboriginal women -- a motion that, as noted yesterday, would, if passed, be binding on the government, as it constitutes an instruction to the House.

As that debate gets underway, New Democrat MP Niki Ashton will join Sisters in Spirit representatives Bridget Trolley and Kristen Gilchrist for a press conference on the same issue before heading outside to speak at a rally on the parliamentary lawn.

On the committee front, Foreign Affairs members get another briefing on Mali, with representatives from the Canadian Council on Africa, Project Ploughshares and, via videoconference from New York, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs expected to share their insight

Later this afternoon, Public Accounts will get its first crack at deciphering the fine print of the nation's balance statement as, with the help of the auditor general's office, Treasury Board and Finance, members take on the eponymous Public Accounts of Canada for 2012.

Also on the agenda today: Public Safety resumes its examination of the economics of policing;   Procedure and House Affairs wraps up its review of the proposed boundary changes in Alberta; Veterans embarks on a study into depleted uranium and Canadian veterans; and Status of Women hears from unions representing corrections officers and other public safety employees as part of its ongoing investigation into sexual harassment in the federal workplace.

Also on the Hill today: International Monetary Fund Canadian mission chief Roberto Cardarelli, who will brief reporters on the latest round of Article IV consultations -- the (needlessly ominous) IMF term for its regularly scheduled "exchanges of economic views" with member countries -- the results of which will be released later this morning.
 
Outside the precinct, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair makes an early morning appearance at the Ottawa Mayor's Breakfast, while Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae pays a visit to the Quebec Association for Suicide Prevention, drops in on a United Way lunch and tours the Ice Hotel.

Also in the Quebec capital today: Veterans Affairs Minister Steve Blaney takes part in an "important ceremony" with Premier Pauline Marois and a host of provincial ministers at the Augustine monastery.

Back in Gatineau, Transport Minister Denis Lebel unveils new measures to "enhance vehicle safety."

In Alberta, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz talks to members of the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers in Banff, and then heads to Calgary, where he's slated to attend an event hosted by the Western Barley Growers Association.

Finally, on the Liberal leadership circuit today, candidates Joyce Murray and Justin Trudeau wends their respective ways back to the GTA, where the next debate is scheduled to be held on Saturday, which will involve stops in Cobourg and Peterborough for Trudeau and a "Love of Democracy" Valentine's Day meet-and-greet for Murray at the Duke of York.  

For up to the minute dispatches from the precinct and beyond, keep your eye on the Parliament Hill Ticker below -- or, alternatively, bookmark it and check back throughout the day. 

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NOTE: Updates added in reverse chronological (newer to older) order.

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